Enter any store and Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” is playing.
The song, which is too beautiful to be background music, was the second single from Timberlake’s third solo outing, The 20/20 Experience.
Other hits such as “Suit and Tie,” and “Tunnel Vision,” were also from the Grammy-nominated album celebrating 10 years this March.
In 2013, Timberlake had the seemingly impossible task of topping his 2006 album, FutureSex/LoveSounds.
Not only did he top that album, he created his magnum opus with this release.
Timberlake left behind old themes of sex and revenge for a more heartfelt look at his life.
Timberlake cowrote all ten songs with producer Timothy Zachery Mosley, known professionally as Timbaland, songwriter J-Roc and songwriter James Fauntleroy.
As the chart-topping album tell its story, the listener can hear the progression Timberlake made in songwriting since his N’SYNC days.
On the gloomy final track, “Blue Ocean Floor,” Timberlake sings him and his partner can conquer anything life throws at them.
“(If) I can’t see hear you through the white noise, just send your heartbeat out, I’ll go to the blue ocean floor,” Timberlake sings over a deep instrumental groove.
The lyrics of the song are an invitation to join the bottom of the ocean with Timberlake.
“We can’t take an airplane, where we’re going’ is way too high. Going where the day sky turns into night” – Justin Timberlake on Spaceship Coupe
On the sixth track, “Spaceship Coupe,” Timberlake sings about a little spaceship for just him and his lover among the stars.
“I got the windows special tinted for the stars that get too bright,” Timberlake sings in the comforting song.
The words here and the rest of the album are very powerful and showcase Timberlake’s lyrical talent.
The “Spaceship Coupe” lyrics are all sung over very subtle instruments with an alien voice in the background.
This alien voice leads to the next showing of creativity – scene setting
Like “Blue Ocean Floor,” each song has a different environment very different from the last.
Music is all about imagination and that is something Timberlake clearly kept in mind as he helped guide the listener through this story.
Track seven, “That Girl,” starts with a spoken narration over a crowded bar sound effect.
“All the way from Memphis, Tennessee, show em’ some Southern love. JT and the Tennessee kids,” yells Timbaland as the band starts playing.
Timberlake used the same idea on his 2003 hit, “Sénorita,” but this time he had his band with him to set the scene of a low-key bar more effectively.
Most importantly, Timberlake let his heart out on this LP.
In his 2018 book, “Hindsight: And All the Things I can’t See in Front of Me,” Timberlake wrote about the inspiration behind “Mirrors.”
“I wrote the song for my wife,” Timberlake wrote halfway through his book.
The music video was inspired by his grandparents, “I learned a long-lasting love from them. I know that’s what I have with my wife,” he wrote about “Mirrors.”
The album has an overall theme of love and commitment, which was a big progression from his previous album themes of sex and revenge.
Timberlake set out to make something big and personal, and with the writing, scene setting and heart that he brought to the studio – he created his magnum opus.